Thursday, 8 May 2014


Each MayDay, for ages and ages, there has been a Jack-in-the-Green festival in Hastings. The current one has been dancing up All Saint's Street since 1983. I love to go when I can and always take my camera. Here are a few highlights, and brief story of the day.

The sun was shining, always a good start

we had breakfast accompanied by a seagull and watched the Merry Go Round man attend to his Merry Go Round, which jingles in the town centre. Then off to the seafront to see what the day will bring

bikers and their bikes gather here for the yearly rally which also takes place on MayDay with the Carlisle Pub as it's final destination, where I suspect much hailing and toasting is done
 while Mayday'ers wander in loose clusters towards the Old Town
a giantess waits
 old friends greet each other
bikers mingle with musicians while a Mermaid
 watches over the crowds
drummers in their yellow wait to drum
others wait and watch
 some wander amongst the fishing boats
 others draw wondering gazes
 wriggle their golden skins
 find unusual places to see the excitements
 host dragons in their hats
 have wings
A great crowd, waiting for the Jack-in-the_Green to be released from the Fisherman's Museum at the end of the street. The Sambalanco drummers lead the drum roll, which bounces off the high properties, net huts and cliff faces of the Old Town and calls Jack out of his lair
 he bounces out, surrounded by drummers  and dancers and the whole panoply of people
to march along the seafront, and begin his promenade up All Saints Street, where more wait to cheer

 windows are decked
and Jack begins his wild carousing passage around the Old Town  
 with rude Morris dancing ladies

 beautiful Wood Lords
 dainty damsels
and Wylde Men
 the Giantess bows to everyone, high and low
 swirly green is flounced about
 noses are daubed with the good luck splodge of Spring
 fair farm girls wave their flowered arches
 and other delights follow
all in all it is a glorious parade of wonderful costumes,
smiling faces and drumming that thrums right through to your soul.

It is a glorious day, and is part of a longer programme of May festivities that surround this old festival. 

As one wanders about, soaking up all this life and vitality, the occasional whisper is heard

"this is all a bit Pagan isn't it?"

Well ... yes actually ....

the rest of my pics can be seen here
Hastings Jack-in-the-Green
but any Google search on Hastings Jack-in-the-Green will find you loads more

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